Wednesday 4 April 2012 10:02 pm

Boris outlines growth ideas in economic plan

BORIS Johnson yesterday pledged to create more than 200,000 jobs in the capital as he unveiled his economic manifesto ahead of next month’s election. Calling London “the economic engine room of the nation”, the current mayor said he would invest £221m in transforming high streets and supporting small businesses, and would launch a new London Growth Fund with a £70m allocation from the chancellor. The Tory candidate spoke of his work over the past four years in the mayoral seat, claiming to have “stood up relentlessly for the interests of the London economy, combating pointless red tape and crippling taxes.” Johnson also took the opportunity to turn on his opponent and predecessor Ken Livingstone, blaming him for wasting “millions of pounds” because his London Development Agency “lacked credible systems” to create economic growth. “Instead, he spent more time on flights to Havana and Venezuela than on securing the investment London needs, and more time sniping at and undermining the industries that provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Londoners than supporting them,” Johnson added. Johnson further pledged to establish a London Enterprise Panel across Greater London, create an average of 1,000 apprenticeships a week and look into a Barnett style funding formula for the city. Safeguard investment in our transport network and cut council tax. Stimulate growth through Enterprise Zones and relief for business rates. Invest £221m to transform high streets and support small businesses. Launch a new London Growth Fund with £70m from the chancellor. Create more than 200,000 jobs and an average of 1,000 apprenticeships a week. Plant 20,000 street trees, restore 300 acres of green space and retrofit homes.